Becoming a Healthy Traveler

A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed a wonderful vacation with my mom and mother-in-law (yep, you heard that right!!) in Myrtle Beach. We had a great time relaxing by the ocean, catching up on girl talk, and drinking wine on the beach. It was the perfect way to bring my summer to a close! Here we are enjoying an evening on the pier... 

If you’re anything like me, the joy of vacation can also bring up the anxiety of being out of your normal diet and workout routine. You might start researching where the closest gym or yoga studio is located, or perhaps you begin worrying about where you will find food that aligns with your lifestyle. And you know what? I TOTALLY get both of those scenarios. So how do you hold up your healthy lifestyle while traveling and keep yourself sane in the process?

I have found that a happy balance OF pre-trip planning and honoring your body’s intuitive cravings makes for a stress-free and fun travel experience

I always make sure that I am prepped with healthy and accessible snacks while on-the-go, especially if I am flying. I used to be terrible at planning out these details, but now I rely on it. When it comes down to it, I’ve found that if you truly care about how you want to feel while you’re traveling, you will do some of the “behind the scenes work” to make sure you’re rocking your healthiest and happiest self while you’re away.

I start by prepping my travel bag with yummy high protein/high fat snacks to stabilize my blood sugar and keep me feeling full and satisfied while out. Nobody likes the feeling of a blood sugar crash and all of the tiredness, foggy brain, and unpleasant moods that come with it. So, I pack my bag with lots of almonds, organic turkey jerky (this is my favorite brand), RX bars, and my favorite Emmy’s coconut cookies. I also make sure that I have LOTS of water so I stay hydrated, especially when flying (I bring an empty water bottle with me so I don’t have to keep buying new ones!) I always stick to my usual supplement routine and even pop some magnesium glycinate to help calm my travel jitters. Oh - and I can’t forget my lavender and balance blend essential oils to help support any unforeseen travel stressors (it happens!). Packing my travel bag with these items helps to keep my hormones happy and in check while on-the-go, and it is totally worth it!

Once I arrive at my destination, I find it helpful to tentatively plan how I want to move my body during my stay. Nothing too concrete, and if in the end I don’t feel like working out, I honor that. While I was in Myrtle, I enjoyed a 3-mile run and a TON of walks along the beach. During a particularly rainy morning, I opened up YouTube and did an easy yoga flow in our living room. I moved in ways that felt nourishing to me, and I didn’t force myself to hit the condo gym or seek out a specific workout class in the area. I knew I wanted to get in a little movement everyday, and I went with the flow to fit that in.

If you’re someone who doesn’t even want to THINK about working out while on vacation, more power to you!! I am a huge fan of doing what makes you feel good, and if lying on the beach with a drink in hand the entire time makes you feel good… DO IT! Listen to what your body is asking of you, and go with it. Do you feel better with a hardcore sweat session, a relaxing walk, or nothing at all?  There is no right or wrong answer! Above all else, make sure to give yourself grace with whatever decision you make.

When it comes to travel and food, I really try to focus on eating intuitively, which has become a new concept for me.

I used to get frustrated when I couldn’t find food that fit my “dietary standards”, and if I ate something that was out of the norm for me, I would feel completely guilty afterward. Even though my intention to eat nutritious food was positive, the stress it caused me had a negative effect on my mind and body. Now, when I go to an unfamiliar restaurant while traveling, I’ve developed a new mind-set. Instead of immediately gravitating towards the “healthiest” option, I take a moment to think about what my body is actually craving. Sometimes when traveling, it is just as important to nourish your soul as it is your body!

Again, I love making choices that align with how I want to feel. Typically, that means I am not going to order foods that make me feel sluggish and bloated (dairy, lots of sugar, and foods high in gluten), but if my body is craving some french fries or a chocolatey dessert after a meal, I honor that. When you’re looking at your food choices from a place of love for your body, you are typically going to pick meals that are nutritious and satisfying for you. Maybe that means a big juicy salad one night and a big juicy burger the next  - and that’s ok!

In addition to making intuitive choices, doing your research and finding the healthy/organic restaurants in your area is a lifesaver 

We found a healthy market and kitchen while in Myrtle called Bay Naturals, and we LOVED it. Totally recommend this spot if you’re traveling to the area.  Their kitchen was filled with organic, plant-based, vegan, and gluten free eats! Just take a look at these tasty meals:

This cucumber veggie avocado burrito was delicious. It included tomatoes, sprouts, roasted red peppers and a creamy dill sauce. I was a huge fan of the paleo-friendly wrap, too!

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I couldn’t complain about this vegan/gluten-free donut I enjoyed after the meal….

We enjoyed our first visit so much that we came back for seconds! This tuna salad sandwich (made with gluten-free toast and vegan mayo) was super tasty. I paired it with the same quinoa and cucumber salad I had the day before.

And because we enjoyed dessert so much the first day, we just COULDN’T pass up this vegan/gluten-free chocolate cake ;)

It IS possible to enjoy nutritious and healthy eats while on-the-go. If you can’t find a restaurant that meets your expectations, remember that you can always modify what’s on the menu (ask my husband, I am always asking for substitutions ;)) or let yourself off the hook and order something that nourishes you on a soul level instead. The less power you give to your food, the less power it will have over you. Becoming a healthy traveler takes a combination of pre-travel packing, a bit of destination research, and the grace to listen to the intuitive cravings of your body.

Overall, my trip to Myrtle was filled with so much relaxation and joy. In addition to the healthy eats above, I also let myself indulge in some french fries, wine, and chocolate taffy! It felt good to know that I had the power to shift my habits and mindset around how I wanted to incorporate a healthy lifestyle while on this trip. 

How do you stay healthy while traveling? Share your tips in the comments below :)